Was wondering

…how many of you guys use charcoal for creating their designs?..

Or you guys prefer normal crayons instead?

Bic round stic fine. Black.

Normal crayons?

Well, I was wondering whether designers use something specific when drawing/if it is awkward to use charcoal.

It is far more common to use ball point pen, colored pencil, magic marker, or a digital tablet then it is to use charcoal or any traditional art media (paints, etc).

Pastels are sometimes used in more traditional media for smooth color gradients, as is airbrushing - but these days you will rarely see any of that used in most studios.

Charcoal rubs off of paper, typically wants to be worked on large size media, and smudges easily. Plus it is not terribly easy to mix media when using charcoal (IE a magic marker would get destroyed rubbing it over charcoal).

This page and this site in general is a great reference for materials.


I mostly use ballpoints and a thicker sign pen. Sometimes it’s nice to get smudgy and I use a black Prismacolor. I bought some nice pencils in Japan called 999 Super Black, which are black like Prisma but smudge like 2B. Use that nosetip oil and get artsy. Feels good.

I saw the “Eames: The Architect and Painter” film this weekend and there was a clip that showed one of the designers (forget if it was Charles) quickly sketching a chair with a charcoal stick. Olde school.

Olde school.

… around 1930.

BTW, it’s Old’s Cool:wink:

I had an old Swedish lady as an art instructor in 6th grade who referred to charcoal and pastels as “crayons”. Interesting stuff … technically, a “crayon” is just a “stick”, it can be chalk, oiled-chalk (pastel), wax-based (grease pencils, Crayola), water-based, or charcoal.

I guess it depends on what your designing. I’ve used all sorts of materials before, not because I see myself as being artistic in anyway, more so I can be more ‘turthful’ (for want of a better word) to the form I am trying to generate. I love a bit of charcoal mind

Somehow, mysteriously, my designs start off as renderings of high polish, but Marketing finds a way to turn them into charcoal.

I don’t think of a medium when I am hashing out a sketch. Most of these start in a conversation where you are throwing down ideas and in this instance I grab what is available, pen, pencil, marker, crayon, whatever. If I am at my desk it is ballpoint all the way, or I go to the cintiq. Charcoal is what I used in life drawing in college. Too messy!!


Marketing finds a way to turn them into charcoal.

that funny! smoked another one… .

Oh, not so messy really, you just have to become one with the charcoal…